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How many more youths like Ali will be shot down by the police? In Turkey? Else­where? To impose the order of dis­or­der while a cri­sis sweeps over us…

Had I not come across this 24 sec­ond-long video. Twen­ty-four sec­onds that cur­dled my blood. And I’m not the only one. Twen­ty-four sec­onds that fol­lowed on the few min­utes when the light­ning that fell on a fam­i­ly singed a moth­er’s heart for­ev­er.

I will not force you to see it, but I will describe it. A young boy in the mid­dle of the street. Police­men sur­round him, lay him on a stretch­er, then in the ambu­lance. When they lift him on to the stretch­er, grab­bing him under the legs and the neck, his head falls back. His blond hair… One of the police­men starts pump­ing his chest in a fren­zy, pump­ing sev­er­al times with his hand to get his heart start­ed again, in vain. A rather strange ges­ture. Because you can see the boy has been shot in the heart, is this an appro­pri­ate move? He is also wound­ed on the left side of his groin.

It hap­pened the day before yes­ter­day, on Sun­day April 26 in Adana in the Sucuzade neigh­bor­hood, Sey­han dis­trict. And today, the media in the gov­ern­men­t’s ser­vice wrote, “a young Syr­i­an, Ali El Ham­dani, see­ing the police, attempt­ed to flee. One police­man fired a warn­ing shot into the air. The youth was acci­den­taly wound­ed in the foot.“

You know that Turkey is the only coun­try in the world to apply an odd restric­tion: a week­end cur­few. Dur­ing that time, police patrol and issue tick­ets. More­over, for those aged less than 20 or more than 65 years, the pro­hi­bi­tion to go out­side applies every day. Ali was bare­ly 19. It was Sun­day, thus, he was dou­bly pro­hib­it­ed to go out. But he had to go to work. I won’t go over it again, on the fate of those who can­not sur­vive with­out work­ing, nor on the sit­u­a­tion of Syr­i­an migrants, nor on those chil­dren thrown into exploita­tion, be they Turk­ish or migrants… Ali checked every one of the cat­e­gories. Obvi­ous­ly, when he saw the police con­trol, he tried to avoid the fine. The scene is not dif­fi­cult to imag­ine. He pan­icked. Per­haps the police yelled “stop!”. He ran. What I don’t under­stand hap­pened after­wards. No one can under­stand it. Only the rags serv­ing the gov­ern­ment spew any old non­sense and repeat as one: “A warn­ing shot”. Even a grade-school child rais­es the same ques­tion: “how can some­one who is flee­ing receive a bul­let in the chest and anoth­er in the groin?”. Was he run­ning toward the police­men? How can a bul­let fired in the air hit him from the front, and twice?

Let’s say he was flee­ing so as not to pay the fine, which is not nice. Was that a rea­son to kill him? While the State uses every bought or con­fis­cat­ed means in order to hide its crime…

I don’t know who shared the video, prob­a­by some­one from the neigh­bor­hood because they are shocked and angry. #Aliy­iÖldüren­lerNerede “where are those who killed Ali?” reads the hash­tag in which indig­na­tion and sad­ness erupt. Pour­ing out beneath it, the com­ments… some men­tion the fam­i­ly, some remind of oth­er lives tak­en the same way dur­ing the Gezi revolt, Ali İsm­ail Kork­maz, Hasan Fer­it Gedik, Medeni Yıldırım, Ahmet Atakan, Berkin Elvan, et Kemal Kurkut, dur­ing Newroz 2017… Voic­es of those who curse and cry, who speak out. “Don’t tell me such mea­sures are to pre­serve pub­lic health. I hate my coun­try”. But oth­ers also…“He was a Syr­i­an”, some say, as if this was rea­son enough to be killed. “They let those enter into the coun­try, are they going to shoot them down one by one now?” Oth­ers con­grat­u­late the police, sup­port the lies of those in pow­er. “Well done!”, “The law is the law!”

We are bare­ly keep­ing our bal­ance, on the rim of the cliff over­hang­ing this deep crevice, a place where words are insuf­fi­cient. Oth­er than hell, what is a world that has lost its con­science and its humanity?

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges –
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Ten­dress­es, coups de gueule et révolte ! Bil­lets d’humeur…